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Title: Understanding the sources of students' self-efficacy development in a Chinese higher vocational institute
Author: Quek, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 1934
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2019
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Self-efficacy theory (Bandura, 1997) posits that if individuals believe they have the capability to perform well in their endeavours, they are more inclined to be motivated, invest more effort and persist in the face of adversity (Klassen & Usher, 2010; Pajares & Schunk, 2001; Zimmerman, 2000). The study of efficacy beliefs is still a relatively new area of research in Chinese society (Kwan, Hui & McGee, 2010) and research into the influence of perceived self-efficacy or one's efficacy belief on academic achievements is limited, especially in the context of vocational education. The purpose of this study is to understand the development of efficacy beliefs of Chinese students in vocational education. This study adopted a qualitative approach using face to face interviews in the data collection, and thematic analysis was used to analyse data collected from participants who were studying on a Sino-Australian hotel management programme at a higher vocational institute in China. The findings from this study indicated that the major sources of self-efficacy development are consistent with Bandura's (1997) four hypothesized sources of self-efficacy. The findings also indicated that Influences of these sources of self-efficacy can be both positive in increasing perceived self-efficacy and negative by undermining efficacy beliefs development, depending on varying conditions such as how the information is valued and interpreted, and the timing of information received. Self-talk was found in this study as self-encouragement as well as a copying strategy to overcome anxieties and stressful situations. Participants also reported the beneficial influence of collective efficacy in the foreign component of their Sino-Joint Venture programmes as well as on their internship workplace. This study found that despite some participants' with self-reported low perceived self-efficacy in certain domains, expressed the willingness and necessity to persevere with more effort to gain a chance of success. The findings also indicated that the participants generally believe that effort investment is necessary for achievement; however it is also necessary to first have belief in their capabilities. The implications are that the development of self-efficacy beliefs is important to help them make sense of their commitment to hard work and that the development of collective efficacy at the institutional level can change how vocational education is perceived in China. Key words: Chinese students; collective efficacy; effort investment; internship; mastery experience; perceived self-efficacy; physical and emotional status; qualitative research; relational efficacy, self-efficacy beliefs; sources of self-efficacy; vicarious experience; self-talk; social cognitive theory; vocational education.
Supervisor: Brown, Hazel ; Regan, Julie-Ann Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral